First Posted: 1/27/2013
Wyoming Area Superintendent Ray Bernardi said the district is reviewing and updating security in the wake of the deadly school shootings in Connecticut.
We’ve been working on increased student safety, Bernardi told the school board Tuesday night.
He said district officials had a meeting with the police chiefs of all the municipalities where the district’s five schools are located.
Physical floor plans were distributed and walk-throughs were scheduled, Bernardi said.
We wanted the chiefs and the police force to come in and get familiar with our buildings, he said.
Walk-throughs were already performed at all the elementary schools and one is scheduled at the Secondary Center for Monday.
Also, an active shooter drill will be performed with state and local police.
The training will encompass how first responders, including school officials, will handle an active shooter situation, Bernardi said.
He said all police chiefs, in addition to the fire chiefs, have a key to all the schools’ Knox Boxes, which is are external wall-mounted safes that hold building keys for fire or emergency situations.
He said the district has submitted a $400,000 grant application to the state Department of Community and Economic Development to retrofit all the entrances of the schools with bullet resistant glass.
Lockdown drills were held on Jan. 10 and 11.
A countywide school security audit was performed by a national security firm, in partnership with the Luzerne Intermediate Unit, and the district is analyzing results.
Some ideas to improve district security that are being implemented include:
• Secure all the doors with door access cards. Right now, only the Secondary Center and Tenth Street have such card access.
• Requiring all faculty and staff to wear ID badges.
• Installing additional security cameras.
• Better lighting in the parking lots.
• Replace the 4-foot fence at the Montgomery Avenue playground with a 10-foot privacy fence.
• Upgrade the speaker systems in all district building.